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A survey of patient preferences for a placebo orodispersible tablet

Wade, Alan G. and Crawford, Gordon M. and Young, David (2012) A survey of patient preferences for a placebo orodispersible tablet. Patient Preference and Adherence, 6 (1). pp. 201-206.

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Abstract

Aims to assess the attitudes and preferences of patients currently being treated for depression or anxiety disorders with traditional oral antidepressants relative to a placebo orodispersible (ODT) formulation of escitalopram. This was an open study collecting patient-reported outcome data from patients with anxiety or depression that were treated with oral antidepressant medication on Day 0 before and after receiving a single placebo ODT, and on Day 3 or 4 after receiving two further daily doses of placebo ODT. Patients aged 18–80 years who were currently receiving treatment with oral antidepressants were recruited from general practice and by advertising. Patients with significant symptoms of anxiety or depression (scoring ≥9 on either the depression or anxiety subscales of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale) were included in the study. A total of 150 patients were enrolled in and completed the study. About 37% of the patients had had trouble with swallowing tablets, and patients with higher depression scores reported more general swallowing problems than those with lower scores (P = 0.002). Most patients (75.3%) believed that an ODT might work faster but that it would make no difference to the effectiveness of the medication (63.1%) or the number of side effects (81.3%). About 96% of the patients reported experiencing a pleasant taste following the placebo ODT, although seven patients did not like its taste or aftertaste. This study found that 80.7% of patients reported that the tablets were easy or very easy to get out of the packaging. Based on the results of the placebo version of escitalopram ODT, the escitalopram ODT is likely to be well accepted by patients suffering from anxiety or depressive symptoms.